Increasingly in the Information Age, customer data is being regarded as an
important asset of companies that have gone into bankruptcy. This has
raised concerns that bankrupt companies will sell their data to companies
that will not honor the contract under which the data was collected.
One role of the bankruptcy process is to maximize the amount of money that
creditors receive from a bankrupt company, but the data held by a company should
be sold only subject to the conditions under which is was collected. If a company
has made a commitment that it will never sell data that it collects, that data
can not be sold as an asset in bankruptcy.
If, on the other hand, a bankrupt company has not promised not to sell data, and
if it does so subjecting purchasers to the same terms that the bankrupt company
promised, this should create few problems. It does not violate the privacy
expectations of the person who shared the information with the original company.
Sale of Data Raises Privacy Worries by Susan Stellin,
New York Times (December 4, 2000)